A DEMONSTRATION on the use of electronic containment fencing for cats and dogs drew around a dozen interested people to a Cardigan campaigner’s home.

Monima O’Connor, from Langoedmor, believes the use of such fencing can save pets’ lives by preventing them from straying onto busy roads – a move opposed by RSPCA Cymru.

The use of such fencing was outlawed in Wales in 2010 but is legal in the rest of the UK.

Mrs O’Connor, whose system has been modified to comply with the legislation, said: “Hand-held remote dog training aids are not the same as electronic collar-linked boundary fences because in the former, it is a human’s decision to deliver a so-called ‘shock’ to a dog whereas under the boundary system it is the pet’s own decision whether it gives itself one.

“Animal welfare agencies will not rehome rescue pets in properties situated near a road unless there is a secluded, contained garden or a dog/cat proof fence.

“Most people live near a road. If the ban on containment fencing was lifted, then it would reduce the level of euthanasia of healthy rescued cats and dogs.

Dog trainer Sam Folley, who lives in England, is an advocate for the system and attended the demonstration.

She said: “Why ban something that can save lives? It’s not a shock that is delivered, rather an impulse and I do not believe the animal suffers any adverse reaction.

“The irony is that someone could install an electric fence, as used by farmers, around their property and that would be legal.”

However, RSPCA Cymru has renewed its calls for the retention of a full ban on such fencing and argues the bid to legalise it is ‘misguided’ and the focus should be on positive training practices and humane and effective containment methods.

The animal welfare charity say calls to relax, or water down, the ban on electronic training

Dr Samantha Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animals department, said: “We are deeply concerned by any calls to relax the ban on electronic training devices.

“Such techniques are both unacceptable and unnecessary. Instead, reward-based training, which uses praise, toys and treats achieves long-term change in behaviour and doesn’t subject the animal to pain or distress.

“There are also more effective and humane ways to contain pets, for example, cat-friendly fencing.

“We would urge owners who wish to train or prevent their pets from straying to use kind and effective methods as research has shown that applying an electric shock can result in behavioural and physiological responses associated with pain, fear and distress and can compromise welfare."